The Olympic Museum alias TOM is more than a museum....
Celebrate with us values, sport, art and culture in Lausanne and online.
The Olympic Museum is a global multimedia platform, generating cultural encounters between people and sport.
Through our programme, partnerships and collaborations,we explore the history, creativity, technology and science of the Olympic movement.
“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.” Pierre De Coubertin.
THE HISTORY OF THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM
It is to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, IOC President from 1896 to 1925 and founder of the modern Olympic Games, that we owe the idea of creating this Museum.
In the plan for the New Olympia, which he wished to set up on the shores of Lake Geneva, this visionary and educator wished to build a place that would bring together historical witnesses of Olympism. A prefigu- ration of the future museum finally found its place within the Villa Mon-Repos in Lausanne, the residence of the Baron and headquarters of the IOC between 1929 and 1937.
On 23 June 1993, Pierre de Coubertin’s dream finally became reality when the then-IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, inaugu- rated The Olympic Museum in Lausanne.
Designed by Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Swiss architect Jean-Pierre Cahen, The Museum is the embodiment of the universal values of sport defended so ardently by Pierre de Coubertin throughout his life: culture, sharing and education.
WHO IS TOM is The Olympic TOM? Museum’s nickname
In 2007, under the impetus of then-IOC President Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee decides to entirely renovate The Museum and develops an ambitious project in line with its mission to be an international influence.
In 2013, for the metamorphosis of The Museum and its park, a multi-disciplinary team was chosen, composed of reputed European companies: The renovation of the building was entrusted to Swiss architects Brauen & Wälchli (BWTK); the exhibition areas to Paragon Creative, Center Screen productions and Mather&Co; and the visitor routes to Metaphor. The transformation of the park was undertaken by l’Atelier du Paysage.
After 23 months of work, The Olympic Museum, or TOM, was reborn at the end
of 2013, with twice the surface area!
Thus modernised and endowed with state- of-the-art technological innovations and new themed scenography, TOM belongs among the museums of the 21st century.
Alongside this embellishment, being concerned about the environment, The
Museum has made a commitment to sustai- nability: recycling of its waste, installation of solar panels and LED lightbulbs, use of water from the lake for heating, and planting of local native species.
THE MUSEUM’S MISSION
The Museum is not about collections!
It’s about an idea: Olympism. Indeed, TOM’s vocation is to let people discover the Olympic Movement, witnessing its essential contribution to society, and to transmit the Olympic values beyond the celebration of the Games and competitions.
Sport is, of course, the main element of a visit to The Olympic Museum. However, histo- ry, culture, design, technology and sociology are also some of the themes addressed within this new museography, which reflects the richness and diversity of Olympism.
TOM’s main objective is to promote the Olympic Movement in its entirety, through the stories of the athletes, as well as the creators, builders, artists and volunteers involved in
the Movement. More indirectly, The Museum highlights the ideals and values of sport and the sense of history. The Museum offers
an international multimedia platform and an essential cultural voice to serve
the Olympic idea.
THE OLYMPIC FOUNDATION FOR CULTURE AND HERITAGE
The Olympic Foundation car- ries out numerous missions on the five continents.
It promotes studies around Olympism using historical, sociological, artistic and academic approaches.
Alongside The Museum, it unites the Olympic Studies Centre, the IOC’s Olympic Heritage Management and International Cultural and Educational Development.
Its objective: To provide as much content as possible and become a reference in the world of creative and cultural industries.
The museum experience begins in a park with a surface area of over 8,000m2, containing works of art and sports installations. You’ll be in no doubt that you have well and truly arrived at The Olympic Museum.
A MARATHON OF EMOTIONS
With a surface area of 3,000m2 devoted to the exhibitions, 1,500 objects, and 150 screens to relive great Olympic moments, partake in champions’ thrills, discover the creative genius of the host cities, or share the enthusiasm of the volunteers,
The Museum offers visitors a unique experience in a place where information, reflection and emotion are shared around sport.
A verdant setting with a breath-taking view of Lake Geneva and the Alps, the Olympic Park is dotted with 43 sculptures
(Niki de Saint-Phalle, Botero, Tapies and Calder). An ho- mage to the world of sport, they remind us that art has always spoken to Olympism, since the birth of the Games.
THE PERMANENT EXHIBITION
Split over three levels, the permanent exhibition revisits each of the essential dimen- sions of modern Olympism: Level 1/ THE OLYMPIC WORLD Level 0/ THE OLYMPIC GAMES Level -1/ THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT
These three spaces are linked together by a spiral ramp, the “Welcome Spine”, designed to let the visitor identify with the flame-bearer.
To access TOM, you need to climb the 97 steps of the great staircase that links Lake Gene-
va to the Museum’s forecourt. Each one of the steps has the names of the last Olympic torchbearers for each Games engraved on them. In front of The Museum, a statue of a benevolent Pierre de Coubertin welcomes visitors, with his eye on the Olympic fire, which burns constantly.
The 8,000m2 of the Olympic Park are acces- sible to all. Visitors and locals take full advan- tage of this green, rural amphitheatre, where a picnic area is available to them. And to be totally emerged from the outset in the spirit of the Games, the public can measure what separates them from the champions on five sporting structures, including a pole vault, high jump and 100-metre track.
THE OLYMPIC WORLD (Level 1)
The visit starts with mytholo- gical and historical
origins of the Games, with the highlight being the Temple of Zeus and the city of Olympia reproduced in 3D.
It continues with an area dedicated to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, where three pieces of audio-visual equipment explain his vision, influence and motivations. The founder of the Olympic Movement wished to provide an artistic dimension to the organisation of the Games; this desire is illustrated in depth in the following area, with the torches, posters and ceremony costumes created by major contemporary artists, such as Philippe Starck, Tahra Zafar and Philippe Guillotel.
The next section, “Olympic Cities”, looks at the many creative challenges for Ga- mes host cities, including the “Look of the Games”
– i.e. elements such as mascots or visual identity for that particular edition.
To discover the architecture and urbanism of the Games, models, placed on an island display, are miniature reflections of the prowess and ever-more-impressive search for innovation.
The timeline from candidate city shows the long 10-year road to the Games until the opening ceremony!
After a one-year invitation phase, the Candidature File is examined over two years, and, seven years before the Games are due to be held, the city is finally selected.
Interaction between the OG and the world: culture, politics and society.
A massive interactive frieze, which unfolds before the eyes of the visitor, allows them to navigate through the different editions of the Games, from 1896 to 2014.
This fresco recalls the
social, political and cultural context around each edition of the Games; an original scenography that places the Olympic Games at the heart of humanity.
Finally, a big screen projects a film which immerses the visitor in the spectacular fairy-tale world of the opening ceremonies.
THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Level 0)
Immersion in the history of the competitions and disco- very of their champions are at the heart of this second area. The Olympians who have marked the Summer and Winter Games, and whose careers and feats embody the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, find their place here.
THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT (Level -1)
The third area of the
invites the visitor to live the
Olympic spirit with athletes
in the Olympic village and around the world through the actions of the IOC.
The visitors discover a space dedicated to the Olympic Truce, testimonies of athletes and different training methods.
Thanks to interactive exercises, the visitors test their balance in curling or their dexterity in shooting, or can follow a mind-training session. Today, there is no international sporting competition which does not involve researchers and engineers.
“You got to try and reach for the stars or try and achieve the unreachable.”
Cathy FREEMAN (AUS)
Discover the increasingly specialised equipment and more efficient materials. The goal is to make the athlete’s movement more effective, but not to replace it!”.
Olympism in Action offers an insight into the work of the IOC beyond the Games and shows how the organisation helps build a better world through sport.
The visit ends in front of the medals of
the modern era (the medals from the Games of 1896 to the present), the ultimate
“Words of Olympians”, a collection of filmed interviews of athletes.
The athletes speak in these interviews specially recorded for The Olympic Museum. They talk about their stories, with some anecdotes about their career, youth and daily life, as well as the legacy they wish to leave as elite athletes.
• 460 archived and transcribed interviews • 95 National Olympic Committees from
the five continents represented
• The youngest Olympian: born in 1998
• The oldest Olympian: born in 1913
10 REASONS TO VISIT THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM
- AN OPEN-ROOF MUSEUM
By marvelling at the exceptional view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
- EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURE OF THE GAMES
By diving into the Olympic world thanks to interactive scenography.
- DISCOVER THAT OLYMPISM ISN’T ONLY ABOUT SPORT
By discovering history, technology, environment, design and architecture through the prism of the Games.
DISCOVER A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
“The important thing in life is not victory but combat; it is not to have vanquished but to have fought well”.
Pierre de Coubertin.
PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF AN ATHLETE
By sharing a champion’s daily life through interactive exercises.
AN EMOTION-PACKED VISIT
By reliving the Games opening and closing ceremonies thanks to the latest audio-visual innovations.
DISCOVER ARTWORKS INSPIRED BY SPORT
By taking in the works of major artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Antoni Tapiès, Niki de Saint Phalle, Fernando Botero and Jean-Michel Folon.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A LIVING AREA OPEN TO EVERYONE
By having lunch at the TOM Café, shopping in the TOM shop, walking through the sculptures in the Park, discovering a temporary exhibition, etc.
‘SNAP & SHARE’ AT THE MUSEUM, YOU CAN TAKE A PHOTO OF ANYTHING
By immortalising your favourite works and objects without the barrier of
PLACE YOURSELF AMONG THE OLYMPIC SYMBOLS
By posing in front of the flag, the podium of the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 or the Olympic Fire.